Swigert International School

An economic, sustainable, flexible building strategically designed and built in 18 months to meet the needs of a growing (and changing) community.

Size
102,000 SF

Year
2011

Location
Denver

LEED
Silver

Client
Denver Public Schools

Swigert International School is a Denver Public School (DPS) completed as an eighteen-month Design/Build effort to accommodate Northwest Denver’s growing residential communities. With a capacity of 950 students, the 40-classroom building is designed in an economic, efficient, and flexible manner to align with DPS’s budget, sustainability goals, and evolving educational needs. Notably, this project provides a replicable framework for DPS to utilize AMD-led design and construction practices that promote sustainable agendas, healthy environments, and optimal allocation of project funds.

Throughout the school, the creation of distinct neighborhoods delineated by age group provide appropriate social conditions while allowing for varied circulation patterns across the site. The Elementary / Middle School wing is a 3-story building, affording flexibility in program, economies of construction and open space management. Programmatic efficiency is also achieved through centralized, school-wide amenities including a cafeteria, commercial grade kitchen, gymnasium, as well as a multi-purpose space that serves as a media center, community room, and performing arts venue.

The exterior of the building responds to DPS’s commitment to building lasting facilities while adhering to a strict budget and schedule. The exterior design directly relates to the contemporary architectural complexion of adjacent residential developments, while supporting optimized construction methods and utilizing durable materials such as masonry and metal panel. Building base conditions serve as a durable pedestal to softer/ lighter materials up high. This strategy is two-fold, as it also provides a mechanism to address the aggressive budget set forth for the project. The result is a dynamic, multi-faceted building that embraces progressive ideas about education, flexibility, technology, sustainability, and community.

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